Foreign Policy Blogs

The FPA’s Must Reads (January 18 – January 24)


Army Col. Steven David addresses civilian media during a press conference following the arraignment of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in the McCalla Hangar in 2008. (Nat Monger)

This is Danny Pearl’s Final Story
The Washingtonian
By Asra Q. Nomani

In 2002, Asra Nomani’s close friend and colleague Danny Pearl was kidnapped and brutally murdered at the hands of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged architect of the 9/11 attacks. In this deeply moving piece, Nomani describes her encounter with her friend’s murderer at Guantanamo Bay in 2012 and the hard-won closure it finally brought her.

How the NSA Almost Killed the Internet
By Steven Levy

Although it is difficult to say exactly how complicit tech companies were in compromising their own security to serve the NSA’s needs, much of the tech industry is justifiably outraged. Levy explores how much damage the NSA caused to the “Internet.”

Going the Distance
The New Yorker
By David Remnick

David Remnick speaks to Barack Obama and examines his presidency in this final year before the so-called “lame duck” period begins to set in. Remnick describes a man still willing to wrestle with the complexities of his decisions, riding the consistent momentum of energy that has sustained him from the beginning.

Between Beirut and a Hard Place
By Steve Hindy

In 1980, Steve Hindy, a correspondent for the Associated Press, was kidnapped by Mahmoud Bazzi, a member of Saed Haddad’s Israeli-backed Christian militia. Two Irish UN Peacekeepers with him were tortured and killed. Today, Bazzi sells ice cream to children in Detroit. After being visited by federal agents now building a case against Bazzi, Hindy relives those chaotic moments.

Would You Feel Differently About Snowden, Greenwald, and Assange If You Knew What They Really Thought?
New Republic
By Sean Wilentz

In one of this week’s most talked about, and most criticized, essays, Wilentz explores the ideologies and political identities of three of the most influential figures in the security state debates. Wilentz argues that the apparent embrace of the leakers by the mainstream, particularly by the New York Times editorial board, is misplaced. Wilentz believes that despite the value of their revelations, their own views do not deserve the prestige and influence that has been accorded to them.


Turkey’s Test of Wills by Abukar Arman
China Blocks Reporting on Xu Zhiyong Trial, Offshore Wealth of China’s Elite by Mark C. Eades
Israel’s Deputy Defense Minister: “The Jordan Valley will remain a part of Israel by Rachel Avraham
Filling Ethiopia’s Power Void by Joe Gurowksy
Tunisia finalizes constitution by Ilyana Ovshieva